Title: Petition of Anna Bradley, 7 May 1862
Date: May 7, 1862
Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 2. The original document is held in the Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury, 1775–1978, National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 217.6.5. Within the National Archives' Archival Description Catalog, see ARC Identifier 4644616 / MLR Number A1 347 (http://arcweb.archives.gov).
Civil War Washington ID: cww.00077
To the Commissioners under the act of Congress approved the 16th of April, 1862, entitled "An act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia."
Your Petitioner, Anna Bradley (widow of Dr. Phineas Bradley, deceased,)
of of Washington City D.C. by this her petition in writing, represents and states, that she is a person loyal to the United States, who, at the time of the passage of the said act of Congress, held a claim to service or labor against two male persons of African descent of the names of William Richardson and James Richardson, respectively, (brothers) for and during the life of said William and James, respectively, and that by said act of Congress said William and James were was discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said William Richardson was of the age of twenty nine years & three months, and of the personal description following:(1) Skin, very black; hair black, short and curly; height about five feet and ten inches; form, or make, rather slinder, or spare; of fair intelligence, and of good appearance and manners; and without bruises, scars, or other distinguishing marks on his person; and so far as your petitioner knows altogether sound, & healthy, in body—He is a good cart-driver, and as such has been usually hired out by your petitioner. He has not however been seen by your petitioner since the month of January 1862, and she does not know therefore, where he is at this time, but except that she has not lately seen him, she has no reason to believe that he is out of Washington where he has lived from his birth. And "that at the time of said discharge," the said James Richardson was of the age of twenty six years and eleven months, and of the personal description following: Skin copper colored; hair, black & curly; height about five feet and eight or nine inches; form, good and compactly built; teeth, regular, and remarkably fine; his features are all good & the expression of his countenance is intelligent & agreeable; he has good mental capacity and polite and well bred manners; and being sound in health, he has, so far as your petitioner knows, "no moral, mental, and bodily infirmities or defects" to impair the value of petitioner's claim to his "said service or labor." He is an excellent waiter, or dining-room servant & as such was, at the time of the passage of the aforesaid Act, hired by your petitioner to Mrs. [Holmseed?], who keeps a fashionable boarding-house in this city, & who, as your petitioner is informed & believes, is still anxious to avail of his services in that capacity.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said William and James in manner following:(2) Their Great Grand-mother, Patty, a slave for life, and her issue, were left to your Petitioner (at the death of your Petitioner's Mother Elizabeth Ann King, who has been long since deceased.) by the last Will of her Grand-father John Hammond, late of Annapolis, Maryland, deceased,—which said Will is duly of record in Anna Arundel County, Md; that by virtue of said bequest your Petitioner became the owner also of Jenny, the daughter, and of Mary, the grand-daughter of the aforesaid Patty; and that the said Mary, who was the mother of the said William and James Richardson, was at the time of their respective births still owned by your Petitioner, and was living in her family in Washington DC; so that the said William & James have been reared, and owned, by your petitioner from their respective births.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said William and James was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Eighteen hundred dollars in money.(3) ; that is to say; in the opinion of your petitioner, the value to her of the said William's service was at least Eight hundred dollars, and of the said James' service at least one thousand dollars = $1800.
Your petitioner hereby declares that she bears true and faithful allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that she has not borne arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid or comfort thereto.
And your petitioner further states and alleges, that she has not brought said William & James into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said William & James were
was held to service or labor therein under and by virtue of your petitioner's claim to such service or labor.
Your petitioner further states and alleges, that her said claim to the service or labor of said William & James does not originate in or by virtue of any transfer heretofore made by any person who has in any manner aided or sustained the present rebellion against the Government of the United States.
And your petitioner prays the said Commissioners to investigate and determine the validity of her said claim to the service or labor of said William & James herein above set forth; and if the same be found to be valid, that they appraise and apportion the value of said claim in money, and report the same to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, in conformity to the provisions of said act of Congress.
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Anna Bradley being duly sworn, do depose and say, that all the several matters and things which are set forth and stated in the foregoing petition, as of my own knowledge, are true in substance and in fact; and that all the several other matters and things therein set forth and stated, as from the information of others, I believe to be true in substance and in fact.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 6th day of May A. D. 1862.
Chs. P. Wannall, J.P.
William Richardson &
William A. Bradley Esq.
& Mrs Maria T. Gillis
Note (2.)-- Here state how the claim was acquired, when, from whom, and for what price or consideration; and, if held under any written evidence of title, make exhibit thereof, or refer to the public record where the same may be found.
Note (3.)-- Here state such facts, if any there be, touching the value of the petitioner's claim to the service or labor of the person, as may enhance the same, and also such facts, if any, touching the moral, mental, and bodily infirmities or defects of said person, as impair the value of the petitioner's claim to such service or labor, and conclude such statement with an averment that the petitioner knows of no other infirmities or defects of said person which impair the value of petitioner's claim to such service or labor, and that he believes none other to exist. If the petitioner specify no such infirmity or defect, then his statement touching the value of his claim should conclude with an averment that he has no knowledge of any such infirmity or defect.